What Does Jimmy Page’s “ZoSo” Symbol Mean In Led Zeppelin IV?
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 22: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Jimmy Page poses in the winners room at The Ivor Novello Awards at The Grosvenor House Hotel on May 21, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Led Zeppelin’s untitled fourth studio album is a tour de force. It defined the rock ‘n roll sound of the ’70s and not surprisingly, it became the standard by which others were measured. Interestingly, the band didn’t give it an official title so aside from Led Zeppelin IV, it was often referred to as Untitled, Runes, or ZoSo.
What is ZoSo?
Since they didn’t have a title to put on the cover, Jimmy Page told the other members to simply choose one emblem to represent them. Being the artist that he is, he went on to design it by himself. It spelled ZoSo but Page has already mentioned several times that it’s not intended to be that particular word.
What does it mean?
Jimmy Page has never publicly shared the meaning behind it. And therefore, the symbol became a subject of speculations by fans and even critics. It remains a mystery to this day but some of the theories might offer a sensible explanation. For one, it’s supposed to be a sigil that represents Saturn often associated with alchemist Artephius. Page’s source was said to be a 1557 book “De Rerum Varietate” by mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, and physician Gerolamo Cardano.
Two, another source could be the occult grimoire The Red Dragon and The Black Hen. It’s also attributed to Saturn and Artephius. This makes sense since at one point, Page was obsessed with occultism and Aleister Crowley.
Three, a different but simpler explanation is this. Page was born on January 9, 1944 and thus falls under the zodiac sign Capricorn which is often ruled by Saturn.
It Remains Mysterious
The mystery is perhaps part of its appeal. We’ll have speculations and assumptions but nothing more. Maybe one Page will tell us, maybe he won’t. Then again, a little secret every now and then wouldn’t hurt.